What is a 50 Degree Wedge Used For
A 50 degree wedge is a gap wedge. This is a relatively new entrant in the wedge series and is used to fill the gap between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. That is why the gap wedge has such a name.
When using a 50 degree wedge, you’ll notice the club features more loft compared to your pitching wedge.
However, shots played with a gap wedge go beyond that of a lob wedge or a sand wedge. It’s also referred to as A-wedge, approach wedge, or attack wedge.
The gap wedge is most often sold individually. In some cases it’s sold along with a pitching wedge and sand wedge as a 3-club set.
Typically, the loft of a gap wedge ranges between 50° and 54°.
Some manufacturers offer gap wedges with lofts of a minimum of 48°. The strong loft of this wedge is ideal for pitching and chipping near the green.
The gap wedge works great for high shots and short trajectories. This wedge is recommended for experienced players only.
The shafts of most gap wedges are made of steel. Steel shaft wedges can assist you in having better control over your shots and are quite durable.
On the other hand, graphite shafts help you to cover more distance and keep shocks that are likely to result from shots at bay.
Do You Need a 50 Degree Wedge?
Yes, you will need to use a 50 degree wedge in one or more of the following situations:
- You do a lot of pitching near the greens or chipping.
- You hit smooth and better strokes with your gap wedge than a club.
- You have a yardage gap of about 25 yards or more with the existing golf clubs in your bag.
- You tend to play a lot of full-swing approach shots.
- You hit many shots within 120 yards range like 30 to 50 yards shots, and 75 yards to 90 yard approach shots.
- You want to keep equal gaps between the different golf clubs starting from 4-wood to sand wedge.
- You play on par 3 courses often.
- Your shots indicate that you’re not a long hitter.
What Bounce for a 50 Degree Wedge?
The bounce for a 50 degree wedge typically depends on factors such as the course where it’s used and the player’s swing angle.
A 50° or a gap wedge will generally have a low bounce. The average bounce for a 50 degree wedge is 5-8°.
However, a few specialty wedges offer higher bounces at 12°. This is often the highest bounce that is found on a 50 degree wedge.
A bounce of 8° is considered to be good if you’re playing on firm courses or with a golf club that has a beveled leading edge.
This bounce will help you establish crisp contact with the golf ball and when you do shallow swings.
If you’re playing on soft courses or wet fluffy lies, it’s ideal for your 50 degree wedge to have 12° bounce.
In some cases, this bounce is perfect when you play on tight firm lies as well. 12° is also a good bounce if you’re more of a digger with pitching and chipping. This bounce is also helpful if you use a wedge for full swings.
How to Hit a 50 Degree Wedge
There are some simple tips that you can adopt to hit effectively with a 50 degree wedge. Once you follow these tips, using a 50 degree wedge will be very easy. I’ll tell you two ways how you can do this.
- Get ready to address the ball by keeping it so that it’s in the center of your stance. Positioning it too much to the back can result in thin shots while placing it too much to the front can lead to fat shots.
- Keep your hands on the 50° wedge so that they are slightly in front of the ball.
- To check whether you’ve got them right, consider an imaginary line from the golf ball to the knuckles of your non-dominant hand. The line should just touch the ball on its front.
- Align your body so that your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders are straight on the target line. Keep your spine straight and rest 10 percent more than half your body weight on the front foot.
- Move the club backward and keep it away from your body. You must position it at the height corresponding to your backswing. It’s ideal to keep the backswing as short as possible to avoid a shoulder turn that is out of control.
- Make sure that the club doesn’t wrap around behind your head as it can tend to collapse your elbow. At the topmost point of the backswing, the club should be out over your body by an angle of close to 45°.
- Use a full swing and when your gap wedge descends, ensure that the ball is hit at the bottom of the swing. This will essentially mean that you do a small divot.
This method may appear slightly more challenging than the one mentioned above. With a little practice, you can do well with this approach too:
- Establish a grip on your 50 degree wedge around six inches below the shaft.
- Position yourself so that the distance between your knees is the same as the distance between your shoulders.
- Keep the ball in such a way that it’s exactly in the center of your front and back feet.
- Take a full swing or a half swing depending on how far you’re from the green. If you’re away from the green by a minimum of 80 yards, opt for a full swing. However, if the distance is close to just about 60 yards, a half swing is the best choice.
- To do a full swing, move your hips fully so that the green and your hips are in opposite direction to each other.
- Move your hands behind to the height of your shoulders.
- Once again, position your hips through your hitting zone and bring down your hands.
- A high swing will result in the ball experiencing a backspin. This will, in turn, make it hit and stop on the greens.
- For a half swing, there is no need for you to render as much force as a full swing because the distance from the green is less.
The 50 degree wedge or gap wedge performs very well in heavy roughs and bunkers. This is because most of its weight is at the bottom of the wedge.
In heavy roughs, this wedge can help to get the ball out by cutting through the grass. For this, you must move your hands in the forward direction and hit through the ball using some force. This will cause the ball to move up high and out of your rough. As a result, the shot to the green will be easy.
In bunkers, use the 50° wedge to hit the sand around three to four inches behind where you’ve positioned your ball. The sand will roll over the ball and move it out of bunkers.
How Far Should I Hit a 50 Degree Wedge?
A 50 degree wedge should cover the yardage between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge in your golf bag. The average distance differs for both men and women with the distance for women being lesser. It also depends on whether you’re a short, mid, or long hitter.
- For male golfers, short, mid, and long hitters can on an average hit as far as 78, 95, and 107 yards respectively.
- For female golfers, short, mid, and long hitters can on an average hit as far as 48, 62, and 78 yards respectively.
The above distances can also vary depending on other factors such as the golfer’s swinging style.
Some players hit 100 to 110 yards distance with a 50 degree wedge while a few others hit 115 to 120 yards or a little more with a full swing of the same wedge. There are also instances of players hitting as far as 140 yards.
Some players cover close to 115 yards with a 3/4 swing and nearly 75 to 85 yards with a full swing. On the other hand, some others hit 105 yards, 90 yards, and 75 yards for full, 3/4 and 1/2 swings respectively.
50 Degree Wedge Distance
The distance rendered by a 50 degree wedge depends on various parameters. The most important parameters are your height, gender, swing speed and style, course, and ball type.
With a 50° wedge, male players tend to cover an average distance of 95 yards. The distance covered by a female golfer is considerably less, traveling 62 yards on average.
However, players using Cleveland wedges have achieved even 125 yards with their 50° wedge. At the same time, some of them cover a distance of 110 yards when using a gap wedge with a very slightly lesser loft of 49°.
Gap wedges are best recommended for players when they would like to cover an approximate distance of 90 yards.
Read more: Complete Guide on Golf Club Distances
50 Degree Wedge Length
The length of 50 degree wedge with a steel shaft for male players is 35.50 inches long. The graphite model of a 50 degree wedge shaft is 36 inches long.
The average length of 50° wedge with a steel shaft for female players is 34.50 inches long. The length of a graphite shaft on a 50 degree wedge is 35 inches long.
Both, pitching and gap wedges are made using either a steel or a graphite shaft. Like with any golf club, the 50 degree wedge for male players is an inch longer than the corresponding wedge for female players.
Similarly, wedges with graphite shafts are slightly bigger than steel shafts.
48 Vs 50° Wedge
The 50 degree wedge is a typical gap wedge. On the other hand, a 48 degree wedge is considered as a pitching wedge by most manufacturers while some others rate it as a sand wedge.
Differences between a 48 and 50 degree wedge are:
- A 48 degree wedge is a better option over a 50 degree wedge if you want a more compact and shallower wedge in terms of design.
- There is a difference in the bounce of both the wedges by two degrees. If less bounce is what you’re after, a 48 degree wedge is ideal as it generally has 6° bounce as against 8° bounce offered by a 50 degree wedge.
- The 48° wedge is a good option if you want to cover a fairly large distance that averages 105 yards with a full swing. However, if you want to hit shots from a shorter distance, then a 50° wedge is the better choice. The 50 degree wedge covers an average distance of 90 yards.
- A 48 degree wedge can be used by players of all levels because of its high versatility while a 50 degree wedge is ideal to be a part of the golf bag for fairly seasoned players. Beginners can consider owning the gap wedge after they progress well into the game.
50 Vs 52° Wedge
Both the 50 degree wedge and 52 degree wedge fall under the gap wedge category.
Differences between a 50 and 52 degree wedge are:
- A 50 degree wedge is a better option over a 52 degree wedge if you tend to prefer some layoff.
- The 50 degree wedge is preferable when compared to the 52 degree wedge if you want to cover some extra distances or are looking forward to achieving some full or short shots.
- The 50 degree wedge performs better against a 52 degree wedge if you cover the same distance on the course.
- I have found the 50 degree wedge to be a much better choice if you own a 46 degree pitching wedge. A 52 degree wedge would be a suitable addition to your golf bag if you have a 48 degree pitching wedge.
- A 50 degree wedge will typically cover the distance of a 52 degree wedge while a 52 degree wedge need not necessarily cover the distance of a 50 degree wedge.
Read more: Is the 52 Degree Wedge Better?